Sarojini N.| The Hindustan Times| 7 September 2016
The Surrogacy Bill 2016 allows only ‘altruistic’ surrogacy by a close relative for heterosexual Indian couples who have been married for five years and are childless. By putting a bar on homosexual couples and single persons, the State has constructed a category of people who can become parents in resonance with the larger patriarchal bias of the State and in the law. It conforms to the current legal framework that still does not acknowledge and respect the reproductive and sexual rights of most individuals, particularly people who are gay.
Further, the Bill makes a hugely misplaced assumption that ‘surrogacy’ within the ‘family’ and in the absence of any monetary transaction is non-exploitative and ‘altruistic’. Given that the institution of family as a location of patriarchal power, coercion and violence is well established, it is not difficult to imagine the pressures that may come to bear on women within families to act as surrogates.